The Questions That We All Must Answer: Who Is This Jesus Christ? Is He God in the Flesh? Is He the Messiah?

Posted: May 18, 2015 in Gospel of Luke

Luke 22:66-71 — Here, we see the question that has plagued mankind and all religions outside of the Christian faith for two millenia. Who is this Jesus Christ? Who is He? That is the question that the Sanhedrin, the high Jewish religious/civic council, sought to answer this dark night in human history. The problem was that it seems that they had already made up their minds before they asked the question.

This trial was a mockery to begin. It was an illegal trial by their own standards. The council was in place to ensure justice within the Jewish society and typically took great pains to ensure justice. Many of the safeguards that we have in place in our judicial system today could be seen in the Sanhedrin judicial system…on most days, but not this night. Under their judicial system, as is the case today in court, safeguards were in place to ensure that a person was considered innocent until it was proven beyond a shadow of doubt that a person was guilty. Not on this night though. Jesus was presumed guilty from the beginning. False witnesses were sought to testify against Jesus (Matthew 26:59). Typically, the Jewish high council went through an elaborate system of screening witnesses to ensure justice…on most days, but not this night. Typically, a defense scribe or lawyer was allowed for the defendant to ensure that the case was argued fairly and according to the law…on most days but not this night. According to their own laws and procedures, all cases were to be held during the height of the day before the full council…on most days, but not on this night (Mark 14:53-65). There were other irregularities about this “trial”, but the trial was a sham. The power brokers within the council had already made up their mind before the trial began. Jesus had to be discredited, shamed, or even killed to prevent Him from shaking up the power structure of the day. To them, they believed that Jesus was not the Messiah. They believed Him to be a threat to their tenuous hold on power under the thumb of the Roman overlords.

Have you ever made up your mind about something and nothing was going to change your mind? You see it all the time in families where everyone sees something in a loved one’s life that is negative for them but they refuse to believe it or even see it. You see it in today’s politics in Washington where everything has become so polarized along political lines. Democrats won’t do anything that has a sniff of Republican authorship and vice versa. It used to be that the republican form of government was bout compromising polarizing interests to something somewhere in the middle that is good for the country as a whole. Not anymore. Nothing gets done because minds are made up and there’s no budging it. The Sanhedrin was of this mindset on this night. They were bound and set on convicting Jesus of a punishable crime no matter what.

They got what they needed. Jesus in effect agreed that He was the Son of God when He said “You say that I AM” He identified Himself with God by using the name of God used by God Himself in Exodus 3:14. The high priest recognized what Jesus was doing and pounced on it to accuse Jesus of blasphemy. To the high council and according to the law of Moses, anyone claiming to be God or equal to God or attacking the authority and majesty of God Almighty was a sin punishable by death. They had what they were looking for. For the entire week they were looking for ways to discount, discredit or get rid of Jesus. Now they had it. However, we know that Jesus was speaking the truth. He is the Great I Am in the flesh. But this is the question that we must answer today as well.

Who is this Jesus? Who is He to you? Is He the Son of God to you? Is He some great philosopher to you? Is He just another prophet in a long line of prophets to you? Is He some political revolutionary martyr to you? Is He a fraud to you? Is He just another of man’s attempts to appease himself about his purpose in the universe with some religious mythology? Is He one way of may to get to the positive afterlife? These are the questions raised by Jesus. What do you believe? Or do you even believe anything at all about heaven and hell?

Jesus said that He was God right here in this text. We have discussed many times here that the authenticity of the texts of the Bible is uncanny. The words of the Bible have been more painstakingly preserved and were written more closely to the actual events than any other religious texts of human history. We have discussed many times before here how we can prove from extrabiblical sources that Jesus actually existed. We have discussed here how Jesus’ enemies in his earthly life never contradicted one single thing that was written in the New Testament books about Him. We have discussed here about how people throughout the centuries who have given their lives up rather than denounce Jesus Christ would not have done so for a lie. Each one firmly believed that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who came to earth as flesh to live the perfectly sinless life so that He could be the sacrifice for our sins that God demanded. We have discussed many times before here, that for the doubters out there I can get you 95% of the way there when it comes to Jesus because the Christian faith is a logical and defensible faith, but it comes down to one thing to get you the rest of the way – that last 5%.

It is the question that the Sanhedrin asked Jesus. Are you the Messiah? It is the question that we each must answer? Is Jesus the Messiah, the Son of the Living God? Our eternity hangs in the balance. If Jesus is not who He says He is, He is the biggest fraud ever perpetrated on mankind. Millions and maybe billions have died in defense of His name. Jesus says He is God in the flesh, right here in this passage. If he is not God in the flesh, then He is a liar not worthy of our respect, honor and belief. If He is just some philospher, He stands here in this passage and lies! If He is some martyrdom-seeking rebel against the established status quo, then He stands here in this passage and out and out lies. He says He is the Great I Am. He says He is God. What do you make of that? Is He a liar, a fraud, or is He the Son of God? You must have faith in Jesus to believe He is the Son of God. There is no way around it. You cannot make logical arguments about it to get to the faith part. Like I said, there is ample evidence of the authenticity of the Bible and, in particular, the New Testament where Jesus’ life is examined, but it comes down to faith. It comes down to what you believe. Are you willing to bet your eternity that Jesus is not who He says He is? Jesus says He is God. Jesus says He is the only way to the Father in His function as the Son. What do you believe? Are you willing to bet your eternity (which is a mighty long time) on the fact that Jesus is not the Great I Am? Are you willing to bet your eternity on this question?

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